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Richmond family frustrated with limited school space in Richmond

Tomsett Elementary is currently under renovation for seismic upgrading and the addition of four classrooms, including one for kindergarten.
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Tomsett Elementary is currently under renovation for seismic upgrading and the addition of four classrooms, including one for kindergarten.

If you are trying to get your child into Tomsett Elementary this fall, you might want to find a four-leaf clover first. 

Richmondite Hailey Wang, who lives across the street from Tomsett, would tell her daughter this is the kindergarten she would attend this fall. 

However, the excitement didn’t last long.  Wang recently received an email from the school saying her daughter wasn’t chosen to attend Tomsett at this time. 

“I feel extremely frustrated and almost cried when I received the email. My daughter was put on the waitlist and now she has to go to Tamley Elementary School,” said Wang, noting her family even moved close to Tomsett to attend school. 

The school told Wang 120 people submitted applications for 40 spots. 

“That’s completely insane and we even applied through the priority window,” noted Wang. 

Tomsett Elementary is over-capacity and is expected to continue to be so over the foreseeable future.

The school is currently under renovation for seismic upgrading and the addition of four classrooms, including one for kindergarten. Construction is expected to be completed by next January. 

The unexpected news will put extra pressure on Wang and her husband’s daily routine. Wang’s husband will need to carry their five-month baby and walk their daughter to school every day while Wang works in Surrey. 

“Although Talmey Elementary isn’t that far away, the rainy weather might make the travel difficult,” said Wang. 

According to Richmond School District’s website, a student normally attends the school located in their catchment area in which their parents or legal guardians reside, unless there is no space available.

According to Richmond School District spokesperson David Sadler, new applicants are processed in the following order: 

1: students with a catchment sibling who will attend the school and program in 2021/22. 

2: students with a non-catchment sibling who will attend the school and program in 2021/22. 

3: Catchment students. 

4: Students with a non-Richmond resident sibling who will attend the school in 2021/22Meanwhile, this issue is gaining traction as the Ministry of Education indicated to the school district that they should expand existing schools in the city centre, such as Brighouse, Talmey and Cook elementary schools. 

Wang said the densely populated area around Tomsett elementary might be part of the problem and she hopes school officials pay attention to this issue.

 

 


 
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